Online wholesale marketplace Faire has soared to a valuation of US$12.4 billion following a US$400-million G round of funding, the company announced today.
The new valuation is nearly double the US$7-billion mark that was reached this past June when the company announced a US$260-million raise.
The US$400 million announced today is Faire’s third investment round in just over a year, bringing the four-year-old company’s total funding raised to date to more than US$1 billion.
The raise adds to the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Waterloo Region tech companies in the past year.
The success of Faire’s series G round shows that the company’s online wholesale marketplace taps into a large global market that still has room to grow, the company said.
“This (round) is just proof that we are on the right path,” Faire’s Waterloo Region-based co-founder and CTO, Marcelo Cortes, told Tech News. “I think, more importantly, it’s proving that (our model) doesn’t only work in America, but also in Europe.”
The company, which began operations simultaneously in Waterloo Region and San Francisco in 2017, provides a marketplace for independent retailers to buy inventory wholesale.
Launched first in North America, the Faire platform was made available in 15 new markets in Europe and the U.K. six months ago. Annualized sales volume in the region has exceeded more than US$150 million to date, a milestone that took nearly three years to reach in North America, the company said.
“Faire is connecting entrepreneurs around the globe in ways that were previously impossible or prohibitively expensive,” the news release said. “As a result, Faire has reported more than 3x year-on-year growth, reaching more than $1 billion in annual volume in less than five years.”
The company has also been adding tools and services that help independent retailers compete with larger rivals.
“Obviously, it’s working,” Cortes said.
In expanding its platform to Europe and the U.K., Faire was testing a cross-border model to see if independent retailers would buy products from sellers in other countries and geographic regions, and to test the efficiency of the cross-border delivery of goods sold.
“This cross-border was always a question mark for us,” Cortes said. “So far, it has been proven that it does (work). There’s a huge demand for products from the U.S. in Europe and vice versa, and that only benefits the retailers. They have more options of unique things that they can sell to their customers across the world.”
The money raised in the latest round will help Faire continue to hire talent to build new tools that help its customers compete, the company said. The investment will help Faire grow its supply of retail brands, and introduce its wholesale platform into new markets around the world.
Faire, which employs about 700 people globally, plans to double that number over the next year, Cortes said. The number of engineering staff will grow even faster, which is good news for Waterloo Region. The company employs about 250 people in Canada, most of whom are engineers associated with Faire’s office in Waterloo.
“We don't know exactly whether this (growth) is going to be 100 per cent in Waterloo or split, with some of it in Toronto,” Cortes said.
He noted, however, that Faire recently took possession of 60,000 square feet of space in the former Shopify building at 85 Willis Way in uptown Waterloo.
“That’s why we have this brand-new office here,” he said.
Faire’s Waterloo employees are currently working on a hybrid model – three days in their new office and two days remotely. The Willis Way office will accommodate Faire’s Waterloo staffing needs for 2022 but the company may need additional space down the road, Cortes said.
“It’s unconfirmed at this point. We’re still looking at what’s going to happen in the future.”
The Series G raise announced today was co-led by new investors Durable Capital Partners LP, and returning investor, D1 Capital Partners and Dragoneer Investment Group. All existing investors also participated.